Dir: John Moore
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Radivoje Bukvic and Yuliya Snigir
Synopsis: John McClane travels to Russia to help out his seemingly wayward son, Jack, only to discover that Jack is a CIA operative working to prevent a nuclear-weapons heist, causing the father and son to team up against underworld forces.
So how do you freshen up a series that some believe is pushing it? Add some new blood. Now sometimes this works (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and sometimes it doesn’t. With A Good Day to Die Hard, the fifth installment of the Die Hard series, it has its moments were it does work.
The movie starts by following the new blood to the series, Jack McClane (Courtney), killing someone in Russia and gets himself caught to get close to a political prisoner Uri Komarov (Koch) to get a file for the CIA. Of course this gets to his father John McClane, once again played by Bruce Willis, and he flies to Russia to try and save his son that he hasn’t seen in years. Of course once he gets there everything goes crazy and the McClane’s have to team up and as John puts it “kill all the bad guys.”
Now it’s been a while since we’ve had John McClane in our lives and when he gets to Russia we get the fish-out-of-water gags as John’s New York’s tough cop struggles to fit in to Moscow. Once John finally tracks Jack down, it’s not the happy family reunion that you would assume. In fact John is the last person that Jack wants to see in Russia, or pretty much ever.
The movie has some twists and turns that you can probably see coming once it finally develops or kind of don’t care about it. A Good Day also tries to pay some homage to the previous movies and if you’re a die hard Die Hard fan (yeah I know) then you might catch them.
I briefly mentioned Willis return as McClane but the some people will look at Jai Courtney as Jack. Courtney has his moments to shine as the younger McClane but other than that he doesn’t really get past the “I hate my dad” attitude until almost the end of the movie when the two finally set their differences aside and becomes the A-Team wrecking crew.
The action here is not that bad, starting with a long car chase that seems like it takes place all over Moscow. While at times a bit confusing and some cheesy dialogue from Willis it shows how the series has gone from the “real” action experience to the common over the top action that we see a lot now, although at least for me its not all that bad.
All in all, A Good Day to Die Hard might be the weakest of the Die Hard series but it does have its brief moments where it is good. If Courtney is indeed the “future” of the Die Hard series then I think they should bring him in for one more (which I’m pretty sure we’ll get) and flesh out his character a bit.
A Good Day to Die Hard
3 out of 5